COURSE: AQA GCSE Computer Science
This specification has been created to get students working with real-world programming and provides a good understanding of the fundamental principles of computing.
The exam board has built on the popular aspects of the old specification and added new features such as an assessment which includes computational thinking. This provides an academically challenging specification for students of all ability levels. A range of programming languages for non-exam assessment can be chosen.
The exam board has worked collaboratively with teachers, industry and the computer science community to produce a specification that’s as inspiring to teach as it is to learn. The GCSE has built-in progression to further studies and is recognised as developing the skills that employers value.
Paper 1: Computational thinking and problem solving
Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.
Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes - 80 marks - 50% of GCSE
A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills.
Paper 2: Written assessment
Theoretical knowledge from subject content.
Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes - 80 marks - 50% of GCSE
A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge.
The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content above.
Report: totalling 20 hours of work - 0 marks - 0% of GCSE
The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development.